2019 Best Online Community Colleges in Minnesota

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Students in Minnesota who want to earn an associate degree or certificate online can turn to any of the community colleges on this list. They all offer at least one fully online associate degree program, and many offer dozens. For example, #2-ranked Minnesota State Community and Technical College allows online students to choose from 21 different associate degrees, as well as 22 online certificates. Minnesota West Community and Technical College follows closely behind at #3, and students enrolled there can pick one of 12 online associate degrees to pursue, including an AA in Liberal Arts and an AS in Business Management.

View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Rank School Annual Tuition Campus Location
#1 #1 Alexandria Technical & Community College $5,970 Alexandria (MN)
#2 #2 Minnesota State Community and Technical College $5,968 Fergus Falls (and 2 others)
#3 #3 Minnesota West Community and Technical College $5,520 Granite Falls (MN)
#4 #4 Riverland Community College $6,380 Austin (MN)
#5 #5 Minnesota State College Southeast $5,018 Winona (MN)
#6 #6 Dakota County Technical College $5,517 Rosemount (MN)
#7 #7 Ridgewater College $5,549 Willmar (MN)
#8 #8 North Hennepin Community College $5,338 Brooklyn Park (MN)
#9 #9 Northland Community and Technical College $4,950 Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks (MN)
#10 #10 Central Lakes College $5,672 Brainerd (MN)
#11 #11 Northwest Technical College $5,970 Bemidji (MN)
#12 #12 Hennepin Technical College $5,640 Brooklyn Park (MN)
#13 #13 South Central College $5,858 North Mankato (MN)
#14 #14 Lake Superior College $5,521 Duluth (MN)
#15 #15 Normandale Community College $5,444 Bloomington (MN)
#16 #16 Inver Hills Community College $5,069 Inver Grove Heights (MN)
#17 #17 Hibbing Community College $5,661 Hibbing (MN)
#18 #18 Century Community and Technical College $5,549 White Bear Lake (MN)
#19 #19 Rochester Community and Technical College $5,639 Rochester (MN)
#20 #20 Saint Paul College $5,450 Saint Paul (MN)
#21 #21 Anoka-Ramsey Community College $5,482 Coon Rapids (MN)
#22 #22 St Cloud Technical and Community College $6,304 Saint Cloud (MN)
#23 #23 Minneapolis Community and Technical College $6,126 Minneapolis (MN)

2019 Online Community Colleges in Minnesota Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,970
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Alexandria
  • Online Associate Degrees: 9
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Alexandria Technical & Community College offers nine associate degree programs, one certificate program, and two special diplomas through its online learning platform. Tuition for online students is $199 per credit and does not change regardless of residency. Online students have access to a wealth of educational resources, including online tutoring services and academic support. Examples of associate degrees offered online include an Associate in Applied Science in Legal Administrative Assistance, an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Administration, and an Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal. The Certificate in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant can be earned fully online, as well as the Diploma in Law Enforcement Career Transition and the Diploma in Medical Coding Specialist.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,968
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes
  • Online Associate Degrees: 21
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Minnesota State Community and Technical College affords students unable to travel to the main campus the opportunity to earn an associate degree, certificate, or diploma through its online learning program. The cost of tuition is roughly $199 per credit hour. Several academic resources are available to online students, including financial aid, an electronic library, online tutoring, and academic advisement. Available degrees include an Associate in Applied Science in Business Entrepreneurship, an Associate in Applied Science in Human Resources, and an Associate in Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology. Students interested in a certificate have options such as web design, network security, and sign language interpreting-medical.

Online Associate Degrees (21)

Online Certificate Programs (22)

  • Annual Tuition: $5,520
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Granite Falls
  • Online Associate Degrees: 12
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Associate degrees, certificates, and special diplomas can be earned through the e-learning program designed by the Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Online students should set aside six to nine hours of study each week per course. The school recommends students take advantage of the free online learning orientation that equips newcomers with the program tools and materials. Some of the degrees offered online include an Associate in Applied Science in Computer and Networking Technology, an Associate of Science in Nursing, and an Associate in Applied Science in Energy Technical Specialist. Students can also earn a Certificate in Accounting or a Certificate in Computer Specialist among many other online options.

Online Associate Degrees (12)

Online Certificate Programs (30)

Show More Degrees »
  • Annual Tuition: $6,380
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Austin
  • Online Associate Degrees: 6
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Distance learners can earn an associate degree, special diploma, or certificate through Riverland Community College’s online learning program. Students have the option to pursue their degree at an accelerated pace or through part-time online enrollment. Associate degrees require completion of 60 credit hours. Certificate programs range from 15 to 30 credit hours. Available online degrees include an Associate in Applied Science in Web Developer, an Associate of Arts in Business, and an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting. Certificates include bookkeeper, computer applications, and social media marketing, and diplomas include medical administrative assistant and accounting.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,018
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Winona
  • Online Associate Degrees: 9
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Individuals interested in earning an associate degree online can do so through Minnesota State College Southeast. Students are not required to attend on-campus classes, although they must participate in online class discussion with their classmates and instructor, complete weekly assignments, and follow the course syllabus. All online students are provided with academic advisement, course evaluations, and information technology support. A few of the degrees offered online include an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Administrative Assistant, and an Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,517
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Rosemount
  • Online Associate Degrees: 5
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Dakota County Technical College allows distance learners to obtain a degree or certificate almost completely online (some degrees require one on-campus visit). Additionally, specific degree programs may require a visit to campus for an exam or to an approved proctor location. Degrees offered through the school’s online learning program include an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, an Associate in Applied Science in Marketing Design Specialist, and an Associate of Science in Business Marketing. Tuition for online courses is about $184 per credit.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,549
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Willmar
  • Online Associate Degrees: 8
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Several associate degrees, certificates, and one Diploma in Computer Aided Drafting and Design are offered through Ridgewater College’s online program. Available degrees include an Associate of Arts in Law Enforcement, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, and an Associate in Applied Science in Multimedia Design Technology. Certificates include activity management, early childhood education, and medical coding specialist. Tuition is about $185 per credit for both state residents and non-residents. Online students are provided with academic resources including financial aid, a library, and a Ridgewater Warrior ID.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,338
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Brooklyn Park
  • Online Associate Degrees: 11
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North Hennepin Community College offers both degree programs and certificate programs to individuals interested in advancing their academic achievements in a flexible format. Available online degrees include an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, an Associate of Science in Accounting, an Associate of Science in Computer Science, and an Associate in Applied Science in Finance Management. Various online certificates are offered in the following fields: accounting, business, computer science, and computer information systems. The school provides various resources including tutoring, financial aid, a writing center, academic advising, a counseling and career center, and a bookstore.

Online Associate Degrees (11)

Online Certificate Programs (22)

  • Annual Tuition: $4,950
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks
  • Online Associate Degrees: 12
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Students who enroll in the Northland Community and Technical College’s online learning program can pursue their degrees at an accelerated pace. Online students interact with their instructors and classmates via a messaging system, message boards, email, and forums. Class assignments, tests, and quizzes are submitted electronically, typically on a weekly basis. Depending on the degree program chosen, students will either complete their coursework entirely online or with a mix of online and in-person classes. Examples of degrees offered include an Associate in Applied Science in Dietetic Technician, an Associate in Applied Science in Digital Marketing, and an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Coding Specialist.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,672
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Brainerd
  • Online Associate Degrees: 5
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Central Lakes College offers live, online classes for students unable to travel to the Central Lakes College main campus. All classes are synchronous, allowing online students to interact with the instructor and on-campus students in real time. Online students are required to “attend” the live classes by accessing them through the online learning management system. Students who miss class can log into the system to view recorded classes and lectures. Available online associate degree programs include an Associate in Applied Science in Viticulture, an Associate in Applied Science in Agricultural Science, and an Associate in Applied Science in Enology.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,970
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Bemidji
  • Online Associate Degrees: 13
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Northwest Technical College offers multiple associate degrees, certificates, and special diplomas that are available to earn exclusively online. Students interested in refining their professional and academic skill set, joining the workforce, or transferring to a four-year college can do so by earning their associate degree. Academic and technical support is available 24/7 to online students. Available associate degrees include an Associate of Science in Nursing, an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Coding, and an Associate in Applied Science in E-Merging Computer Technology. Other online options include a Certificate in Renewable Energy, Sales and Marketing, or Production Technology.

Online Associate Degrees (13)

Online Certificate Programs (22)

  • Annual Tuition: $5,640
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Brooklyn Park
  • Online Associate Degrees: 3
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Hennepin Technical College offers three associate degree programs available fully online: an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, an Associate in Applied Science in Architectural Technology, and an Associate of Science in Accounting. Alternatively, online students can obtain a Certificate in Accounting, an Accounting Technician Diploma, or an Architectural Technology Diploma. Courses are conducted in a six-week format. Online students can interact with instructors and faculty via phone, email, and live chat seven days a week. Tuition cost varies depending on the degree program and can range from $176 to $284 per credit hour.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,858
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: North Mankato
  • Online Associate Degrees: 3
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Three associate degrees, three certificates, and one diploma are offered 100-percent online through South Central College’s e-learning program. Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science in Administrative Office Specialist, an Associate in Applied Science in Child Development, and an Associate in Applied Science in Community Social Service. Alternatively, students can obtain a Certificate in Administration of Child Care Programs, a Certificate in Community Social Service, and a Certificate in Web Programming. Most credits can be transferred to four-year colleges for students wishing to seek a bachelor’s degree. Academic resources are available to online students, including academic advising and financial aid.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,521
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Duluth
  • Online Associate Degrees: 10
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Lake Superior College offers 10 degree programs, as well as certificates and special diplomas, that can be earned 100-percent online. Students enrolled in an online associate degree program should set aside three hours of work per week for every one hour of class time. Anyone considering this online learning program should be self-motivated and able to do the coursework with very little instructor input. Online students correspond with their instructor and classmates via online class discussions, and assignments and tests are submitted electronically. Available online associate degrees include an Associate of Science in Business and Technology, an Associate of Applied Science in Accountant, and a Paralegal Studies Associate of Science and Associate in Applied Science.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,444
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Bloomington
  • Online Associate Degrees: 7
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Students interested in earning an associate degree or certificate in a flexible learning format can do so through Normandale Community College’s online program. Several associate degrees are available 100-percent online, including an Associate of Arts in Creative Writing, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Education, an Associate in Applied Science in Business: Marketing and Management, and an Associate in Applied Science in Computer Technology. A Certificate in Human Resources Management, a Certificate in International Business, and a Certificate in Small Business Management are a few of the certificates offered through the online program. Students who earn an associate degree are able to transfer their credits to a four-year college or enter directly into the workforce.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,069
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Inver Grove Heights
  • Online Associate Degrees: 4
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Inver Hills Community College’s online learning program allows distance learners to obtain an associate degree or certificate without attending on campus classes. The associate degrees offered require completion of 60 credits. Required credits to obtain a certificate range from 11-18 credits for business certificates to 60 credits for the Child Care Teacher Certificate. Examples of associate degrees offered include an Associate of Science in International Business and an Associate of Science in Contemporary Business. Classes are asynchronous and online students can access their course material, submit assignments, and interact with other students through a web-based learning management system.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,661
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Hibbing
  • Online Associate Degrees: 1
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Individuals interested in earning an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technician can obtain the degree through the online program designed by Hibbing Community College-A Technical and Community College. All classwork can be completed almost fully online with the exception of exams that may need to be proctored on campus, or at another approved location. Students can access technical support during weekday business hours and may contact their instructor and school faculty with academic questions or concerns.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,549
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: White Bear Lake
  • Online Associate Degrees: 1
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Century Community and Technical College offers three online learning formats: synchronous classes, asynchronous classes, and predominantly online. Synchronous classes allow online students to participate in live classes and interact with the instructor in real time. The asynchronous classes allow students to log into the learning management system and complete their coursework on their own time. Predominantly online classes require one to two visits to campus for exams or certain class requirements. Several programs are offered fully online, including a Kitchen and Bath Design Certificate, a Medical Assistant Diploma, and an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Office Assistant.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,639
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Rochester
  • Online Associate Degrees: 6
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Rochester Community and Technical College offers several associate degrees, certificates, and special diplomas through its online learning program. All Associate of Science programs require the completion of 60 credit hours. Specific Associate of Applied Science programs, such as medical administrative assistant and health information technology, will require additional credits. Cost of tuition is roughly $188 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state residents. Classes are self-paced and online students should anticipate a minimum of two hours of coursework for each class outside of regular class time.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,450
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Saint Paul
  • Online Associate Degrees: 2
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Individuals interested in earning either an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Arts in Business with a Transfer Pathway can do so through the online program designed by Saint Paul College-A Community and Technical College. The e-learning format is best-suited for self-motivated individuals who can work independently and with little instructor input. Classes are asynchronous and students access their coursework through the Brightspace system. Students learning from a distance should set aside a minimum of three hours of study weekly for each class.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,482
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Coon Rapids
  • Online Associate Degrees: 4
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Anoka-Ramsey Community College offers a total of six fully online programs: an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science in Business, an Associate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a Business Generalist Certificate, and a Business Computer Applications Certificate. The associate degree programs require completion of 60 credit hours, all of which can be done 100-percent online. Distance learners submit their assignments, take tests and quizzes, and correspond with their instructor through the D2L Brightspace system. Cost of tuition is about $183 per credit for online students.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,304
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Saint Cloud
  • Online Associate Degrees: 3
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St. Cloud Technical and Community College offers three associate degrees through its online learning platform. Students can choose an Associate in Applied Science in Finance and Credit, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences, or an Associate of Science in Business Management. A Diploma in Finance and Credit is also offered online. Online students have access to a wealth of academic resources including academic advising, a bookstore, a help desk, disability services, and financial aid. The cost of online tuition is about $210 per credit hour.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,126
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Minneapolis
  • Online Associate Degrees: 1
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Minneapolis Community and Technical College offers both fully online and hybrid classes for students interested in earning an Associate in Applied Science in Library Information Technology. The school also offers a Public Information Services Certificate and a Technical Information Services Certificate through its online platform. Students access course materials, correspond with instructors, submit assignments, and take tests and quizzes through the Brightspace online learning management system. The online program is best-suited for self-directed learners who can work and meet deadlines on their own time.

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